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A Guide to the Perfect Steak Temperature

on November 15, 2019

“And how would you like your steak?”

That is the standard question whenever ordering a steak - whether you are eating at a local diner or a fine dining restaurant. If you have ever ordered a steak in your life, you know how to answer the question. However, how much do you really know and understand when it comes to cooking a steak to the perfect temperature and level of doneness?

At Atlas Steakhouse, we serve countless steaks every day. Our menu features popular cuts like T-bone, ribeye, and Porterhouse. All our steaks are also naturally aged in our dry aging room for optimal flavor.

We put a lot of time and effort into sourcing the best quality steaks and aging them to perfection. As such, we believe in putting the same amount of effort into cooking each steak to the optimal temperature. 

What the optimal temperature for a steak is varies between people. From rare to well done, there is no wrong answer. To help our guests decide on which they prefer, here is a quick guide to steak temperature/doneness.


A great option for the true carnivore, rare is as raw as you can get without eating an uncooked steak. The center will be bright red while the outside can be lightly browned and charred. When done, the internal temperature of a rare steak should be around 125°F.

Medium Rare

Most chefs will recommend medium rare as the perfect level of doneness for a good steak. The steak should be warm throughout with a pink to slightly red center. The outside will be well browned with good grill marks. The internal temperature of a finished medium rare steak should be approximately 135°F.


When preparing steak for a large group of people, aiming for a medium doneness is a good idea as it is right in the middle and most likely to please everyone. Medium steaks are warm and pink in the middle with no sign of red. The internal temperature should be around 145°F. 

Medium Well

For someone who likes their steak cooked well, this is a great option as it has only a very slight hint of pink in the center without the risk of overcooking and burning the steak. An internal temperature of 150°F is ideal.

Well Done

This is actually one of the harder steak doneness levels to cook as it is easy to burn. A well done steak should be cooked low and slow to allow the middle to fully cook without overly charring the outside. Internal temperature for a well done steak is around 160°F.

Cooking a Steak to the Perfect Temperature

At this point, you might be wondering - how does a chef get my steak to the exact doneness level I want?

A meat thermometer is a great and precise way to test a steaks doneness level. There are also guidelines on how long to cook a steak based on its thickness and the type of cut. In many cases though, chefs just know by sight or by the feel of the firmness of the steak.

At Atlas Steakhouse, our chefs cook steak everyday, all day. They have learned through years of practice to cook steaks to the perfect temperature and doneness, whether guests want rare or well done.

Our steaks are cooked just short of the desired doneness before being removed from the heat and allowed to rest. This lets the steak reach the desired temperature without overcooking and preserves the flavor and juiciness of the steak.

Come Enjoy the Perfect Steak at Atlas Steakhouse

If you are ready to order the perfect steak cooked to your ideal preference, give Atlas a call today and make your dinner reservation. We are available at 646-494-7227.